God asks the people to stop bringing “vain offerings.” He is unable to “endure iniquity and solemn assembly” in the same place, at the same time. (Isaiah 1: 13) The “appointed feasts,” He hates. (Isaiah 1: 14) He is weary of “many prayers” with hands “full of blood” spread out before Him. (Isaiah 1: 15)
God commands, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1: 16 – 17)
James writes, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1: 27)
Jesus tells us that those who suffer do not suffer because they are worse sinners. “No , I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13: 3) In other words, “though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow.” As sin increases, grace abounds. Yet, this is not to say that we should commit sins so that grace becomes abundant. Paul says, “By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6: 2)
“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove all of your evil deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good,” says our Lord and Savior.